Mr. Archer Leaves Milton
by Ariela Buxbaum-Grice on Friday, June 6th, 2014
Mr. Archer, a Classics teacher and the Dean of Students for the Class of 2015, will be leaving Milton Academy at the end of this academic year.
Originally from California, Mr. Archer attended the University of California, Berkeley. For graduate school, Mr. Archer traveled to Cambridge and attended Kings College. After teaching at the Crossroads School (a college preparatory school) in Santa Monica, California, Mr. Archer worked as the chair of the Classics Department at the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut and began teaching at Milton Academy in 2007.
Mr. Archer played an important role in many students’ high school careers, both within the classroom and beyond; he was a student advisor, the faculty advisor of The Milton Paper, and the coach of Co-ed Intramural Tennis in the Fall. Kiana Mendes (II), this year’s Class II representative for the Class of 2015, worked with Mr. Archer closely and also participated in intramural tennis with him this past season. Kiana described Mr. Archer as “truly invested in the students he works with. Though he has a contagious smile and a genuine heart, he is not afraid to be completely real and honest with you, and that’s something I truly admire. He has contributed so much to my Milton experience; he is someone I will never forget and am so thankful to have known.”
Mr. Archer’s dedication and openness are qualities that will make him as a forever-valued faculty member. Max Kliman (II) described Mr. Archer as “the nicest, most down to earth guy who actually wants to connect with each student. He genuinely cares about being a great class dean, as he shows through his amazing check-in ability, and he’s lived up to that goal over the past few years.” Jake Burchill (II), one of Mr. Archer’s advisees, said, “Mr. Archer was really helpful and I knew that I could go to him for anything I needed. I will really miss having Mr. Archer as my advisor.”
Next year, Mr. Archer will return to California. His wife was offered a job in Los Angeles, close to where his parents currently reside. Mr. Archer describes the job opportunity as “too good an opportunity to pass by… and one that won’t come back in another year or two if we waited.” Mr. Archer said that moving back to California is “a chance for me to go out and help [my parents].”
While he does not have definitive plans for his future in California, Mr. Archer plans on taking a year to “find out where [he wants] to be, whether it be still teaching or doing something else.” He wants to continue his work with children, but his future work with kids might not be within its current realm of teaching and educating. He is considering pursuing work with a non-profit organization such as a local Boys and Girls club. Mr. Archer stated that, regarding the current social stance on education, “things have certainly changed within the last ten years. Childhood used to be a time just to go out and have fun and learn about the world around you; now, it’s so college driven that I worry about what sort of people we’re producing.”
Mr. Archer believes in educating in a more abstract sense, teaching kids the importance of exploring the world in a more imaginative way than just in terms of colleges. “I don’t know what I’m going to end up doing, even in the fall of next year, but what I do know is that it’s time to move and I’ll be very sorry to say goodbye.”
Regarding his time at Milton, Mr. Archer said, “I really enjoyed working here at Milton. It’s been a fun place to work—the academics are rigorous and, yet, people do seem to keep a sense of fun. I can thank Milton for a lot because I do see people trying to keep that balance here.” Looking forward, Mr. Archer said, “I’d like to be in a community that can have a lot of the same values and ideals that Milton students have.”
In the future, as he continues his career working with and shaping young minds, Mr. Archer wants to encourage people to think more “imaginatively” and “more broadly than just a few named colleges.” If people begin to think in more abstract ways and focus less on pursuing a rigorous education strictly to go to one of a handful of colleges, “maybe that way the pressures will be taken off students.”
Mr. Archer stated, “It’s not that I’m trying to get something that’s not here because my life here is rather idyllic. I teach classes that I really like, I’ve got the Class of 2015 that I’ve become very fond of. There’s no replicating that elsewhere—but it’s time for me to go back to California.”
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